THE U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is supporting Ag-Biz East 2011, an agricultural trade exhibition, to be held at the Public Grounds in Ampara from 27-28 May, 2011.
The event will be a platform for agricultural sector stakeholders to network and build sustainable partnerships, showcase national agribusinesses, introduce new technologies, and share knowledge. James Bednar, USAID Sri Lanka Mission Director said, “There is great growth potential in the agricultural sector, particularly in the region of Ampara. USAID is pleased to support Ag-Biz East, which we hope will be a catalyst for private sector development in agriculture”.
Ag-Biz East 2011 was launched on 4 April, 2011, under the patronage of Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena. “From the beginning, farms have to be a business,” said Minister Abeywardena at the launch, explaining the role of the government and private sector in such development initiatives. Ag-Biz East will increase access to good plant material and link producers to buyers thus helping “drive farmers to produce”.
At the event, participants can meet suppliers of seeds, fertiliser and machinery; representatives from research institutes, trading houses and educational institutions; marketers, exporters, and producers; and visit other agriculture-related services. Interactive booths will include an Agriculture Cyber Centre demonstration stand where visitors will learn about new resources including a farmer-friendly web portal linked to the Department of Agriculture (DOA) and the Department of Animal Production and Health (DAPH) which includes the latest extension information. Ag-Biz East 2011 is organised by the National Agribusiness Council, with support from USAID through its Connecting Regional Economies (USAID/CORE) project, and is endorsed by the Provincial Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Production and Development, Rural Industries Development and Fisheries under the Eastern Provincial Council. Others supporting entities include the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the Hatton National Bank PLC.
The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided development and humanitarian assistance in developing countries worldwide for nearly 50 years. Since 1956, USAID/Sri Lanka has invested nearly $2 billion to benefit all the people of Sri Lanka.